Explore the places of interest

ANPIL and Pratieghi

Protected Area of Local Interest (ANPIL) Nuclei di Taxus Baccata di Pratieghi

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A protected natural area

The Protected Area of Local Interest Nuclei Taxus Baccata of Pratieghi can be characterized as a predominantly wooded natural environment that hosts the rare forest type known as Tilio-Acerion, which in this area presents an unusual abundance of Yew trees (Taxus Baccata, locally defined Nasso or Tree of Death). This conifer has become rare in Europe due to its extensive historical use (its remarkably flexible and strong wood was widely used to produce Archery Bows and various tools) and also due to climate changes.

Pratieghi monte zucca Sorgente Marecchia
Pratieghi panorama frazione Badia Tedalda

ANPIL and Pratieghi

A protected natural environment

Within the Protected Area you can discover clusters of yew trees, with some plants reaching more than six meters high and a few even reaching up to 10 meters.

It is possible to enjoy a natural circular route that starts from the center of Pratieghi and takes you through the protected area.
The forest is inhabited by birds such as woodpeckers, whose typical drumming on logs can be heard, birds of prey such as buzzards and sparrowhawks, and a peculiar amphibian: the alpine newt. At dusk it is easy to encounter the roe deer, which leaves its safe refuge of the forest in search of grasses and shoots.

anpil nuclei di taxus baccata Pratieghi Badia Tedalda area naturale protetta

The Yew Tree between legend and reality

The Yew Tree is a legendary plant. Since time immemorial, in fact, it has been known as the Tree of Death because of its content of a toxic substance called taxin. This one, is present in all parts of the plant except the aril-the fleshy, a bright red cup at maturity that surrounds the seed.
 
It’s interesting to know that today the Yew could turn into the Tree of Life thanks to the pharmacological properties of some substances that it contains and that are used in the treatment of cancer and for some forms of disease.
 
Legends around the harmful properties of the Yew tree are lost in the mists of time; the ancients considered it lethal to sleep under its shadow, and Julius Caesar, in De Bello Gallico, tells how warriors used substances extracted from this plant to poison the arrows they shot at their enemies, with sturdy bows made from Yew wood! 

The Marecchia Spring Path

Hike through the dense beechwoods of the Mount Zucca, at about 930 meters high.